UW Madison kicks off public history project to uncover racism

MADISON, Wis (WMTV) -- UW-Madison kicks off a public history project that looks to uncover prejudice in their campus history.

Kacie Lucchini Butcher, UW public history project director, said it's important to recognize those difficult histories on campus.

This project comes after a 2016 campus climate report showed over half of students of color don't feel safe or welcome on campus.

"Students today do not feel comfortable on campus. That absolutely breaks my heart. I think students have a right to be here and feel comfortable here and I think the history is linked to the present," Butcher said.

A study group researched the history of the Ku-Klux-Klan on UW’s campus. After those findings, in 2018, Madison’s chancellor decided it was time to confront campus history.

This campus project will recover the stories of those who experienced and overcame prejudice on campus.

"Marginalized groups on this campus always fought against their marginalization and continued to make space for themselves and they continue to do that today,” Butcher said. “Those students have every right to be here and have every right to feel safe and welcome."

The director is asking for public input on the project. Send an email to publichistoryproject@wisc.edu or visit their
website to get involved.